Expected Publication: May 7th, 2013
Panthaa Volume 1: The Goddess and the Dangerous Game
By: Brandon Jerwa & Pow Rodrix (Illustrations)
Leaping and roaring into the comic world from her debut in the pages of Vampirella, the mysterious crimefighter called Pantha has endured since the 1960s. This feline femme fatale has remained relatively obscure over the years, but she always returns to give horror-action fans something scary (and a little sexy) to sink their fangs into. This new story presents Pantha as the last living avatar of the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. Commanded by Ra to walk the earth for all eternity as atonement for Sekhmet's transgressions in life, Pantha seeks out evil in all its guises. With the power to transform from a beautiful woman into a feral panther, this is one super-heroine who is much more than just a pretty face. Pantha also wields the Scarab of Atum-Ra; forged from the ancient god's tears, this amulet is an object of great power that many forces would kill to possess. The Scarab can destroy cities, corrupt souls, and open doorways to other dimensions.
Pantha is part of a living representation of the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet and is forced to watch life pass her by for eternity, due to all her sins in life. She is given an ultimate weapon called the Scarab which is made of Ra's tears, can transform into a panther and Pantha is able to open portals to other dimensions. Can she and her friends from the secret organization she's part of manage to stop the other gods from destroying the world while battling for the immortal god Chaos' throne? As a straight, slightly conservative woman I felt slightly uncomfortable the entire time I was reading this comic. Now with that statement out of the way... I did enjoy the storyline. But sometimes I feel a little bit lost when I go into fantasy comics and the story/characters seem like they've already been completely established. This was one of those times for me. I still didn't understand who Mayra was supposed to actually be and why Pantha was so obsessed with finding her before something bad happened. I think maybe she was one of the incarnations of Sekhmet besides Pantha. but I'm unsure. After the focus on Chaos and the underhanded machinations of other immortals/gods (goddesses too!), the inclusion of a portal to a different dimension and the battle with the vampire-esque creatures in Vampirella's world seemed out of place and slightly jarring. It was nice to get a glimpse at the world of Vampirella, where Pantha originated, but it seemed unnecessary to me all the same. The artwork was very nice and struck a good balance between the extreme colorization of old-school comics and the darker, more serious tones of the modern 'graphic novel.' Overall it was interesting to read this, but not really my type of comic. I prefer my scantily clad female comic characters to be actual superheroes like Wonder Woman. Although, turning into a panther is extremely bad ass too! :)
VERDICT: 3/5 Stars
*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is May 7th, 2013.*